Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Free ways to enjoy art in San Antonio

Chloe Williams

Since its founding in 1718, San Antonio has embodied hope, resilience and a vibrant culture. Because of these characteristics and the people who symbolize them, it is no wonder Mission City is ranked number one among the best Texas cities for the arts. Serving as an epicenter for Mexican-American artists and influential art movements like the Chicano Art Movement in the mid-1960s, San Antonio continues to be home to countless artists, museums and galleries that showcase local art. Join us as we highlight various places and ways you can experience the rich San Antonio art scene for free. 

San Antonio Museum of Art

Located at 200 W. Jones Ave., the San Antonio Museum of Art (SAMA) showcases countless exhibits spanning over 5,000 years. Admission to SAMA is free for all UTSA students, faculty and staff through a university partnership. To take advantage of the discount, show your school ID. 

 The McNay

The McNay is a 25-acre art museum located at 6000 N New Braunfels Ave., showcasing art across various mediums. UTSA students, faculty and staff can enjoy free admission to the McNay every day by showing their school ID. 

Briscoe Western Art Museum

Located off the River Walk at 210 W. Market St., Briscoe Western Art Museum focuses on Western art, showcasing the stories of “the cowboy, the vaquero, Native Americans and the vast beauty of the Western landscape.” San Antonio and Bexar County residents receive free admission on the first Sunday of the month. For the first full weekend of the month, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch and U.S. Trust cardholders gain one free admission pass to the museum. Regular student admission is $12. 

Ruby City

Ruby City is a contemporary art center located at 150 Camp St. Ruby City is always free and open to the public, with no student identification required. The space has over 1,400 paintings, sculptures, installations and video works.

Contemporary at Blue Star 

The Contemporary at Blue Star is a nonprofit contemporary art organization located inside Building C of the Blue Star Arts Complex at 116 Blue Star. Admission to the Contemporary is always free, and donations are accepted at the door. 


Artpace is a nonprofit residency program that supports local, national and international artists in the creation of new art. Their exhibits are available at 445 N Main Ave. and are always free and open to the public. 

Centro de Artes Gallery

Centro de Artes is a gallery located in Historic Market Square at 101 S. Santa Rosa Ave. The two-story exhibit space focuses on “the Latino experience in the United States with a focus on South Texas through local and regional art, history and culture, and showcasing Latino artists and Latino-themed artworks.” The gallery is always free to visit. 

 San Antonio Art League & Museum

San Antonio Art League & Museum (SAALM) is a house-turned-museum located in the heart of the King William district at 130 King William. SAALM is home to over 600 works, each focusing on Texas artists. Admission is free, and donations are accepted. 

Outdoor murals

Another free way to experience art in San Antonio is to visit one of the city’s many outdoor murals and public art. Some notable places are San Pedro Creek Culture Park at 715 Camaron St., Neon Drive at 401-405 Nolan St. and River Walk Public Art Garden at 849 E. Commerce St. The city of San Antonio also provides a Public Art Map, which allows you to search for and see all public art spaces across the city. 

With powerful art accessible in San Antonio, spending the day at a museum or gallery is the perfect way to appreciate the vast San Antonio art scene. To support San Antonio’s accessible art initiatives, consider leaving a donation if you are able. 

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About the Contributor
Chloe Williams
Chloe Williams, Managing Editor
Chloe (she/her) is a senior majoring in Business Marketing with a minor in Adaptive Decision Business Models. On her off days you can find Chloe thrifting, being a self-proclaimed food critic or outside enjoying nature. This is her third year at The Paisano and she is excited to serve as Managing Editor.

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